Ask the Bishop: Jennifer and James

Engaged and Unhappy
"I definitely feel like I'm the man of the relationship. I usually make all the decisions. I am the main provider in the relationship. I make more money. I do more around the house. I make sure everything's getting done," says Jennifer, who admits she resents her fiancé, James. "I feel like he should step up and be the man."

Jennifer says she needs to work an additional job to make extra money to pay their bills. "I feel like as the man, he should say, ‘I'm going to support my family,' but I know he's not going to do it. James is not going to get another job," she says. "Sometimes I feel he's dead weight. I'm dragging him along with me, trying to survive now ... I'm very resentful that he just doesn't step up to get us out of the current situation we're in, because it's getting bad, and it's going to get to the point where it's so bad, that I'm just not going to put up with it anymore."

[AD]James says Jennifer's comments make him feel like less of a man. "Jen believes that she needs to be the one to get a second job, because she believes that I won't. She's told me, ‘You're the man, take care of the situation. You're the man, you should be getting a second job and making the money.' I already feel that way. I don't need her to tell me that. I'm looking for jobs. I'm applying at places. With the economy the way it is, it's hard to find something," he says. "I am taking care of my family, right now, the best that I can, but I do wish that I was in a better place."

James feels his wife is always disappointed in him. "It does hurt. As a man, you want to be able to take care of your family, and you want to be able to give them better things," he says. "I sometimes worry about losing Jen and the baby. I would do anything to keep the two of them in my life. I love them both. It's my life, both of them, right there."When Jennifer admits that she's sees some of herself in the story of previous guest Lisa, Bishop Jakes asks her, "When you see it on somebody else, do you realize how obnoxious it looks?"

"Yes, I do," Jennifer says. "He's such a great man to me, and he's a great father, but there are some things that I feel he should do for his family."

Bishop Jakes tells Jennifer that when she attaches James' worth to how much money he brings home, his self-esteem declines. "Does love end with dollars?" he asks.

"I'm not telling him that he needs to make millions of dollars for me to be happy. I'm telling him that I want to be above water to be comfortable," she says.

"It's still a price tag on your love," Bishop Jakes says. "Can you just love him because?"

[AD]"I do love him just because," she says.

Dr. Phil interrupts her. "Why did you come here?" he asks. "Do you want to seriously admit that you have trouble respecting somebody whom you think is passive, and lazy, procrastinating and irresponsible?"

"We get into it a lot, because I do feel like he procrastinates a lot. I feel like I have to constantly push him," Jennifer says.

"Is that what you want to hook your star to for the rest of your life?" Dr. Phil asks.

"No," she says.Facing James, Dr. Phil says, "You have a choice to make. She has expectations, and you're either going to meet them, or you're not."

"It just hurts my self-esteem when she says those things," James says. "She thinks I don't try." He explains that he doesn't tell Jennifer about all his job interviews, because he feels ashamed if he doesn't get called back. "What she says and then that, it makes me feel like less of a man, and it hurts."

"In the back of my mind, it makes me feel like he's not doing enough," Jennifer says.

[AD]Jason, a previous guest, explains to Jennifer that James won't talk to her about everything, because he doesn't want to hear her feedback.

Dr. Phil tells James and Jason that they both help to define their relationships with their wives, so they need to speak up and make sure their voices are heard.

Bishop Jakes adds, "There is a man in you that she doesn't see. You're not being your honest, authentic self, so you're living up to this lie, and one day you're going to get tired of it, and you're going to walk away."